Tag Archives: Barbados lawyers

Barbados Attorney Philip Vernon Nicholls arrested for Money Laundering, Theft of $675,000 from client real estate deal

Philip vernon nicholls attorney

Prominent Barbados attorney-at-law Philip Vernon Nicholls is free on $200,000 bail and will return to court on February 25, 2014 to face charges of money laundering and theft of $674,172.

The offenses are said to involve a foreign real estate client – a method of stealing money that seems all too prevalent amongst Bajan lawyers. (Check out some of BFP’s past stories on this topic: here, here, here, here, here, here and here – get the picture?)

In the past many Bajan lawyers bought their way out of similar theft charges. Until recently most of these complaints were dealt with internally by the Barbados Bar Association until the volume of thieving lawyers walking free so undermined the reputation of Bajan lawyers that the association and the police were forced to really do something. Still though, most lawyers end up buying their way out in a manner quite unavailable to ordinary thieves.

Nicholls has a long association with politicians, governments and government bodies including the Bees, former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, insider David Shorey and the Barbados Cricket Association.

The money laundering charge is a first though and we look forward to learning the details about where the money ended up… Switzerland? Jersey? New York? Miami? I wonder if the public will be allowed to know the full details or if a deal will be made to allow another crooked Bajan lawyer to walk free.

Further Reading

Barbados Today: $200,000 bail for lawyer

Stabroek News: Bajan attorney charged with money laundering

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Barbados lawyer shows backside to judge, tells her to “Kiss my Ass”… and the judge runs away!

kiss my ass judge

How much is rumour? How much it true?

I don’t know much about normal behaviours by lawyers and judges because I try to avoid contact with those kinds of people at all costs. What really happened in the Nation’s story? Who are the people?

But I have a feeling that when this type of behaviour goes unpunished (if it happened as rumoured), it’s really all over. And what’s with the judge running away? What does that say about how the judge views her authority? What the #$@! is happening ’bout hey?

Hopefully this will not be another incident like gun in Parliament where the public were left not knowing what really happened but the respect for Parliament was undermined.

From The Nation

Legal Shocker!

AN INCIDENT earlier this week involving a veteran attorney at law and a High Court judge has left the legal fraternity in an uproar.

According to reports a Queen’s Counsel after a verbal outburst directed at the female judge, turned around and backed her, lifted his robe and bent over while uttering a profanity. Continue reading

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Another crooked Barbados lawyer steals foreigner’s real estate money

Does anyone know the name of the lawyer?

Victim Joan Marville is about to learn:

1. Barbados lawyers never go to jail for stealing from trust accounts

2. Unlike some jurisdictions, Bajan law firms are not required to have theft insurance to protect clients.

“Lawyers are held to a higher standard of conduct… breach of trust is a terrible, egregious offence… except in Barbados”

In Britain or the USA if a lawyer is unable to pay monies entrusted to the lawyer’s care, there is hell to pay and it usually happens in days. Upon receiving a legitimate complaint the Bar Association and sometimes the police show up at the law firm, nab the books and freeze the lawyer’s trust accounts. Very often the light-fingered lawyer ends up not only disbarred for life but in jail doing some serious time because the integrity of the legal profession must be upheld.

Except in Barbados where more often than not the Old Boy’s Club looks after everything quietly so as not to embarrass the club or lessen the public confidence in lawyers. Those cover-ups have had just the opposite impact though – folks have learned that there is little to discourage crooked lawyers in Barbados.

The latest story follows the usual pattern: A resident of a foreign country, in this case the USA, sold some land in Barbados in 2006 and hired a Barbados lawyer to complete the transaction.

The crooked Barbados lawyer handled the sale and received the money from the purchaser, some $100,000. Instead of transferring the money to the client, the lawyer simply kept the money and began the usual dance of delay, delay, delay until it was obvious that the money did not reside in the lawyer’s trust fund – if it ever did.

That was in 2006. Here we are six years later and the victim, retired nurse Joan Marville, still waits for justice. The article in the Nation is so poorly written that we can’t tell when Marville first approached the Barbados Bar Association and the police. Presumably she didn’t wait six years!

But none of that matters because most Bajans can already predict what will happen to the crooked lawyer: nothing. We can’t come up with one crooked Barbados lawyer who has gone to jail.

Buying or selling real estate on Bim? Good luck with the crap shoot!

Here’s a few of our previous stories about crooked Bajan lawyers…

Another Barbados lawyer buys his way out of criminal charges. A system rotten to the core.

My lawyer, a Member of Parliament, took my money but didn’t complete a real estate transaction

Crooked Bajan lawyer Mortimer Clarke: How much did he steal this time?

Barbados Bar Association blames public for choosing crooked lawyers “at random”

Barbados lawyer Leroy Lynch arrested for $2.2 million theft

DLP connections protect crooked Barbados lawyer from arrest?

Another thieving Barbados estate lawyer

Bar Association: Public having doubts about Barbados lawyers’ credibility. (No Kidding!)

Crooked Barbados Lawyers: Only One Arrested, Many Others Allowed To Walk Free… Why?

Here is the latest story as it appears online at The Nation. We have to reprint it here in full as that paper has a history of removing/modifying stories to suit various agendas. Please do read the story at The Nation, but if it’s gone someday you can read it here… Continue reading

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Divorce lawyers: one frustrated client sounds off

Submitted by email. Author’s name withheld by editor

We are a society where the lawyers are a law unto themselves and people have had to suffer because of the practices of a fraternity. The court process in Barbados is flawed with people who have no interest in justice. The ego of these who think they have lives hanging in the balance is huge. For the past X years I’ve been going through a divorce and have had to go to many lawyers, each one worse than the last.

The thing is they don’t take kindly to you knowing what you are about and asking for what you want, because of ego. They went to law school, you didn’t so you must shut up and let them speak, even though it is your life. I have had the pleasure of files going missing in the registry on court day when the Judge would need it. I have had lawyers withholding my file because they feel as if they should do so out of spite. Continue reading

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My lawyer, a Member of Parliament, took my money but didn’t complete a real estate transaction

I demanded to know what was going on, as I had paid my lawyer in full to complete our land deal since last year, November 03rd, 2011. I have been informed that my lawyer failed to attend not one, but two scheduled meetings to complete this transaction so that we can get our deeds.”

Yet another lawyer fails to transfer purchase funds already provided by client!

Barbados Bar Association making inquiries

This post was received from a reader we’ll call “Z”. As requested, Barbados Free Press editors removed the names from the letter.

My lawyer, a Member of Parliament I will call Lawyer #1, overcharged me for a land deal, tried to extort more money when I spoke to the disciplinary board of the Bar Association about him. I am purchasing real estate and has not yet completed the land deal for which he was paid in full for. I gave him the money to buy the land and he has not forwarded this money to the seller’s lawyer in over 6 months!

• Lawyer #1 was hired to complete a secession land deal for us. This plot was to be purchased under the Land Tenantries Act.

• Lawyer #1 was paid in full, inclusive of all his lawyer fees to complete this land deal as of November 03rd, 2011.

• May 2012, our land lady for called indicating that she did not receive her money as yet for the land purchase. She asked us to check with our lawyer to find out what the hold up was.

• On receiving this information from our land lady, on May 29th, 2012, I called the office of the land lady’s lawyer (Lawyer #2), who is the lawyer for our land lady as I was confused as to what was going on, due to the fact I have been given information from my lawyer’s secretary which did not add up with our land lady’s query.

• I spoke to Lawyer #2’s secretary, who informed me that Lawyer #2’s law firm were awaiting the 10% funds from me. I enquired as to what she meant, as I have paid my Lawyer since last year, November 03rd, 2011 in full and therefore, there was no hold up of money on my end.

My Lawyer missed two meetings to transfer the money!

• Lawyer #2’s secretary when on to say that two meetings were scheduled to have this matter completed and that my lawyer (Lawyer #1) did not turn up to either of these meetings. Continue reading

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DLP connections protect crooked Barbados lawyer from arrest?

18 years after running off, cocky thief attorney returns to Barbados

Why was Michael Simmons so confident he wouldn’t be arrested?

Everybody knew that fugitive Michael Simmons (photo above) was coming to his sister’s funeral last weekend, and everybody was just as sure that he wouldn’t be arrested for the crimes that caused him to flee Barbados 18 years ago.

What’s changed in the 18 years since Simmons stole millions and ran off? That’s easy: some of Simmons’ family members are now close to the DLP Government.

Reader “Who me?” saw the article in The Nation Simmons back after 18 years and sent us the following contribution. BFP readers should remember that just because someone says something, doesn’t mean it’s all for true.

But there does seem to be a whole lotta smoke ’bout this place recently!

Justice? Rule of Law? For some but not for others.

by BFP reader “Who, me?”

The Nation article about Michael Simmons caught my eye in that I was made to understand that transparency and corruption and the relevant legislation were major concerns for Barbadians, having being promised this by the DLP government of the day.

Now, how can a situation exist where a lawyer, ATTORNEY-AT-LAW Michael Simmons having robbed his clients of their funds and absconded to the United States can return to Barbados as if he has not care in the world? Which in my estimation Mr. Michael Simmons doesn’t have a care in the world. Continue reading

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Simplified procedure to complain about corrupt or inept Barbados lawyers.

President of Barbados Bar Association reveals changes

Finally, we have confirmation of the rumours from none other than BBA President Andrew Pilgrim.  A new simplified complaint procedure is to be introduced soon in an effort to deal with the current backlog where the average complaint takes over four years to process.

This “simplified and enhanced” procedure is far more efficient and less trouble for users. It does not require the filling out of so many forms as the initial record of complaint is made verbally.

This will be the new procedure…

  1. Write the lawyer’s name, law firm name, address and phone number on a piece of paper with the word “COMPLAINT” in large letters at the very top.
  2. Below the lawyer’s information, write your name, address and contact information.
  3. Place the paper into a suitable bottle.
  4. Shout the details of your complaint into the bottle.
  5. Seal the bottle securely and toss it into the sea off the South Coast.
  6. Await a response from the Barbados Bar Association.

Mr. Pilgrim states that the new procedure will be far less frustrating to Barbadians and others making complaints against lawyers because it will not take so much time to complain and the results will be exactly the same.

Initially the Barbados Bar Association yacht will be fishing the bottles from the sea on the South Coast only, but this will be expanded to the West Coast next year with the arrival of a second BBA yacht.

You can read all about Mr. Pilgrims promises in the Barbados Today article: Changes for Lawyers

Story submitted by BFP reader “G”

Message in a bottle image courtesy of Robin Wood. Thanks Robin!

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